The Young Innovation Leader’s (YIL)—a platform which aims to raise young exceptional leaders in innovation management—would help greatly in boosting Nigeria’s poor Human Capital Index.
The programme would assist in developing the innovation skills of the youthful population by teaching them the way to solving critical problems in the country, according to Obichi Obiajunwa , a public sector expert and founder of the innovative programme.
“We created the YIL platform to assist in raising young exceptional leaders in innovation management”, Obiajunwa told BusinessDay in Lagos last week when it held its 2019 edition of the Young Innovation Leaders (YIL) Fellowship to mentor 45 young talents. “We aim to raise people that will inspire, initiate and lead innovation in their different spheres”.
Africa’s most populous nation has been bedevilled with low budgetary funding to its education and health sector, two key sectors tipped by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), needed to curtail the country’s high unemployment that soared to 23.1 per cent as at Q3 2018, and drive the country up the ladder in Human Development Index,
In 2017, the country was ranked 157 in HDI among the 189 countries sampled, according to data from United Nations Development Programme, a New York-based developmental network that tracks health, education and income/standard of living indices across countries.
The IMF in its article IV report urged the federal government to tap into its growing population by providing them with the prerequisite skills that would enable them to meet up with the global standard.
“It is pitiable for Nigeria to be at that low point in Human Capital Index with all its human resources. It simply means that our human population is not skilled enough to face the challenges of today and that was why we created this platform”, Obiajunwa said.
The YIL started in 2018 and it is a 4-months fellowship where participants are trained on innovation management skills and are given capstone projects to solve under expert supervision. After the fellowship, fellows are then provided life-long career mentorship.
The 2019 edition of the fellowship kicked off on 22th May through 25th and started with a boot camp that graced the presence of both local and international experts who came to facilitate classes and motivate the participants.
This year’s, participants were recruited, after a rigorous selection process, from 21 States of Nigeria. There were also participants from South Africa and Ghana. Participants are skilled professionals less than 28 years old with a track record of excellence.
Sponsors of the program include the United Nations Population Fund and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
Resource Persons who spoke and educated the participants include Eyal Halamish, from Australia; Neta Hanien (Israel); Osaretin Adonri, Assistant Representative, UNFPA; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Osaze Ezekiel, Head of Big Data, Oracle Nigeria; Michael Nwoseh, Head of Youth Segment, FCMB; Oyindamola Assaju, Founder, Farm Republic; Nnamdi Ifeagwu, Director of Programmes, YIL Fellowship.